Trinity River Beagle Club
President: Ed Belding (817) 714-5477
Secretary: David Belding (817) 454-4316
Field Trial Committee Chairman: Terry Jones (405) 819-2643
Field Trial Headquarters: Alvord Veterans Memorial also known as Elm Creek Park, Alvord, TX (Hwy 287 Access Rd.)
Running Grounds: LBJ National Grasslands, Wise County Texas
Hotel Recommendation: Econo Lodge Inn & Suites – 940-627-6919
1709 US 287, Decatur, TX 76234
Short History of Trinity River Beagle Club
Trinity River Beagle Club started back in 1990 when a group of beaglers in and around Weatherford Texas met to discuss the possibility of starting a beagle club to eventually hold AKC Licensed trials. None of us knew much about trialing and not many of us had hounds that were even close to being trial quality. From the beginning we were heavily influenced by Sooner Beagle Club which was a UBGF club and Hill Country Beagle Club near Lampasas Texas which was a Lone Star Association club. Our first club fun trials and AKC Sanctioned B trials were held at an old dairy just Northwest of Weatherford Texas. We cleaned up and restored an old decrepit dairy barn which we used as our headquarters and club house. We had several people from Sooner attend and help with paper work, judging and general advice during those early years including people like Janette Cuthrell, Earl Musgrave, Johnny Britt and Art Lee to name a few. Duke Gilliland and others from Hill Country Beagle Club also came up and helped. From that initial location near Weatherford we moved to a ranch South of Mineral Wells Texas and supplemented our running grounds with undeveloped city owned land at the Old Fort Walters in Mineral Wells Texas. Eventually we made a permanent move to the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County Texas for our running grounds and we use public facilities in Alvord Texas as our headquarters.
We initially joined both the UBGF and the Lone Star Association and became a “bridge club” between the two associations at a time when the two groups didn’t think they had much in common. But from the beginning the better hounds from both associations were placing side by side at our licensed trials and we saw a lot of Texas beaglers begin to drive north and run at Sooner and Lavaca. Our licensed trials in the 90’s were judged by some great judges from all over the Southwestern region of beagling including eventual hall of famers Gary Hanks and Kevin Moore. We enjoyed great hounds, great people and lots of great fellowship during our trials and at our Saturday night invasions of the local steak houses.
As the beagle clubs in Texas began to struggle and clubs like Hill Country, LaTex, and Rose City either folded or moved to Louisiana, the entries and participation dropped at Trinity River too. The day we started we were one of the two western most club holding AKC Licensed SPO trials and in 2004 we held our last trial and suspended the club because of low entries and lack of club workers. The population of beagle field trailers and field trial clubs in Texas and Oklahoma continued to recede and move east until there was only one club left in Texas running AKC SPO trials (Southeast Texas beagle Club). And with Sooner Beagle Club moving their trial to Lavaca’s running grounds near Booneville Arkansas there were none left in Oklahoma.
Fast forward 9 years and in 2013 some of us began looking for SPO clubs near us and found that none were left. So we began discussing whether reviving Trinity River as an AKC Licensed trial club was viable. Oddly enough the vacuum of beagle clubs on the western edge of gundog beagling along with recent migrations to the Fort Worth Dallas area of beaglers from other parts of country, created a new demand for licensed trials in North Central Texas. After gauging interest from other beaglers and the closest neighboring clubs, SE Texas and Sooner, we had a meeting, elected officers, collected some dues and began to rebuild Trinity River Beagle Club. We held our first AKC licensed trial in 10 years on February 1st & 2nd 2014 with a strong winter storm barreling down on us and finally arriving with several inches of ice and snow early Sunday morning. We had plenty of rabbits both days even while running on ice Sunday morning. We held our second licensed trail October 18th & 19th 2014 and now we look forward to the upcoming season.
We an unaffiliated beagle club holding AKC SPO trials and we can rightly claim to be the Western Frontier of AKC gundog beagle field trials. Because we are so remote and so far from most clubs and beaglers we have found that we cannot rely on drawing entries from one particular style of beagle. Therefore, this upcoming 2015/2016 season we will hold one AKC license trial in October using southern MidWest association and Large Pack judges from South Texas and focus the trial for beaglers who enjoy a Midwest style hound. Then in late January/early February we will hold our second AKC licensed trial using judges from the UBGF primarily but perhaps with some from the Deep South. Most of our members run a UBGF style hound but we also have members who enjoy a Midwest style hound. This will allow us to offer something for both without the confusion and disruption that can occur when you try to mix the two styles in the same trial.